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Liberalization, democracy and economic performance during transition

  • Fidrmuc, Jan

This paper analyzes the inter-relations between economic and political processes during transition in 25 post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The main findings are the following: First, economic liberalization generally has positive effect on growth even when controlling for initial conditions. The effect is U-shaped during the contraction and linear during the recovery, but in both periods complete liberalization is superior to no liberalization. Second, democracy has a negative effect on growth during the contraction, whereas its effect appears insignificant during the recovery. Third, economic performance is a strong determinant of support for the reform in elections: support for the reform falls with unemployment and increases with economic growth, output level relative to 1989, and, surprisingly, inflation. Finally, economic liberalization per se increases opposition against the reform, as the costs of the reform apparently go beyond deteriorating economic performance. The level of democracy, in contrast, increases the support for the reform.

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Paper provided by ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn in its series ZEI Working Papers with number B 05-2000.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zeiwps:b052000
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  1. Dethier, Jean-Jacques & Ghanem, Hafez & Zoli, Edda, 1999. "Does democracy facilitate the economic transition : an empirical study of Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2194, The World Bank.
  2. Fidrmuc, Jan, 2000. "Political support for reforms: Economics of voting in transition countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 1491-1513, August.
  3. Nauro F. Campos, 1999. "Back to the Future: The Growth Prospects of Transition Economies Reconsidered," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp146, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  4. Guillermo A. Calvo & Fabrizio Coricelli, 1993. "Output Collapse in Eastern Europe: The Role of Credit," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(1), pages 32-52, March.
  5. Sebastian Edwards, 1991. "Stabilization and Liberalization Policies in Central and Eastern Europe: Lessons From Latin America," NBER Working Papers 3816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Brainerd, Elizabeth, 1998. "Winners and Losers in Russia's Economic Transition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1094-1116, December.
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